Dragon, Tiger and Phoenix (1974)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2006-10-15
Summary: Decent plot, poor fights...
Dragon vs. Needles of Death tells the story of a homeless young man that is taken in by a local kung fu school, only to throw it into turmoil when he runs away with the head student's girlfriend. Ang Fung plays Chung Chu Chung, whose martial arts specialty is throwing nails, an expertise he gained from working around construction sites as a young boy. He agrees to teach Sammy, the leading student of the school, the art of throwing in exchange for lessons in kung fu. However, when Sammy's girlfriend Mei Lei (Wong Ping) takes a liking to Chung and decides they should run away together, Sammy and Chung are destined to face off before a resolution occurs. Their paths cross later when Sammy is recruited into a struggle between a prominent kung fu school and the local crime syndicate that is making a killing in the salt trade. When Chung is forced to do the dirty work for the syndicate in exchange for money to aid an ailing Mei Lei, Sammy goes to find him for a final showdown.

Dragon vs. Needles of Death is not an absolutely horrible movie, but it is too mediocre to be recommended. Although the plot has some decent twists that keep you interested, the fighting is very sub-par and the acting is poor. Even though the main character possesses a pretty unique fighting skill, the action scenes are too drawn out and boring. The entire last 20 minutes of the film consists of people chasing each other across vast fields and through forests, only to stop and fight in poorly choreographed conflicts. The only different tactic the film takes is having Chung as a relatively sympathetic character, even though he commits a heinous crime. By the tragic end you're not sure who was right and who was wrong, but the punishment seems to fit the deed.
Reviewer Score: 3